Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Troutville, VA, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default What is NORMAL for October 1?

    I inspected my 2 TB hives Sept 23, and found lots of bees covering each comb, 10+ bars of capped honey, 10+ bars 1/3 to 1/2 filled with capped honey and uncapped nectar, and the brood bars at the front with a 1 or 2 inch band of honey at the top, but no real noticeable brood. The bees had been very active on the yellow crownbeard, but that is dwindling now. Today, Sept 30, there is very little activity at the hive openings. The temp. is in the 70s and its sunny and pleasant. My question is, are they done for the year and just sitting inside enjoying their stored honey? There are still scattered flowers blooming, just not an abundance of any one flower. Should there still be a lot of capped brood and brood of other stages? I am a first year beekeeper, and am unsure what I should be observing now in SW VA.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,747

    Default Re: What is NORMAL for October 1?

    Normal for the time of year. They are gearing down as far as brood and they believe they have plenty of stores. Mine are all doing the same as yours.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: What is NORMAL for October 1?

    Normal? That description is dependent on a great many subjective and/or objective variables. Least of which is your geographic location and the climate there.

    Presently I am growing a top bar hive for a customer. The customer designed and built this top bar hive, which was provided to me - without bees, and I have been working to establish a colony in it. This hive initially had five top bars and two follower boards. I'm sure that these follower boards can be replaced with two additional top bars. The entrance is a slit where the sloping front and back do not quite meet the bottom board. It appears that the opening may be wide enough for workers, and maybe even queens, but not for drones (several expired in attempts to exit the hive).

    'Normal', for this top bar hive, right here, right now:

    Top bars were started by being placed overnight in a strong 8-frame colony of deep frames (placed between frames of brood), where combs were started on them. Then, I moved the top bars with their little comb starts, placed them into the top bar hive, and shook in the bees from a usual strong nuc, giving them a ripe queen cell of the breed, English Buckfast. Despite that forage is presently very sparse, this top bar hive has been growing, their queen emerged, mated, and has begun laying. They have been storing honey and pollen, while also developing a compact, but strong brood nest. Soon their first brood should be emerging. It is ready for the customer to pick up, but I am not sure when that will happen. So I may have the opportunity to continue observing its development, or that opportunity may end, soon. I've been thinking I might wish to start one of my own top bar hives, just to watch the process.

    It sounds like your hive is, 'normal', for whatever that is worth. Each colony can be considered an individual, it is not uncommon for there to be many differences between colonies, even if all variables seem to be the same.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Troutville, VA, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: What is NORMAL for October 1?

    Joseph, I understand what you are saying about each hive being an individual, and "normal" for that hive may be different than "normal" for another hive. However, the normal that my question refers to is that, if you had 100 first year tbh in this location, what would be the average activity for these hives. Maybe I should have used the word average instead of normal. With only two hives, and both having about the same levels of bees, honey, brood, and activity, I was just wondering if this is average, or if I should be concerned and doing something else for or to them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,134

    Thumbs Up Re: What is NORMAL for October 1?

    Your description suggests the hive has done well enough so far, and is well prepared for the winter as far as stores go (you didn't mention stored pollen, but I'm assuming it is in there).

    However, in my view, your observation about the brood raises an issue I would follow closely for a few weeks. If it was hot outside for a week or so, some bee strains suspend brood rearing. Exposure to pesticides can suspend brood rearing. A dearth of sufficient severity can shut the brood chamber down. I suppose there are a number of situations where the brood chamber would be idle -some causes would normal and some not.

    Look again in a few days, with your glasses on this time I'd want to see some eggs and brood of all ages at this time of year. Do you have any capped brood? Any larva showing? Do you have a local mentor who can look over your shoulder? Have you tested for mite levels? How are you planning to deal with verroa mites in your hive?

    Today, my bees are very active with a lot of pollen going into the hive. It was 70* and overcast. I'm new to my 7a growing zone....Old timers say the bees will gather nectar over the winter if it is a mild one. Look for your bees to be more active on a nice day. If no brood soon, find out why.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: What is NORMAL for October 1?

    Rod, the girls were working like crazy on the Wingstem (crownbeard, stickweed, whatever you prefer) a couple weeks ago, but now that is gone, and they didn't seem to care for the goldenrod at all. I checked mine last Wednesday and there was a lot of pollen, a decent amount of eggs and some larva, but only a tiny bit of capped brood in the hive. She must have shut down during the dearth and really just got back up to speed during the last flow. I should have a good amount of capped brood (I hope!) if I can inspect later this week. You may want to take another peek this week, the highs are going to be in the upper 70s. You may see the same thing. Maybe this little bit of rain will promote some nectar flow.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Troutville, VA, USA
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: What is NORMAL for October 1?

    Shannon and Lee, Thank you for the replies.
    I will check again at the end of this week, looking closely for eggs/larvae/brood, with my glasses on this time. That was my biggest concern, as I didn't see eggs or larvae on 9/23, and only a few scattered capped brood, which may have not been viable anyway. I figured that the honey stores would be adequate, except that if they weren't actively bringing anything into the hive at this point, then what they have now must feed them not only for the winter, but for the fall also.
    Lee, you mention a mentor taking a look, but the club I'm in is all Lang hive guys (and girls) and I feel like an outsider at the meetings, and have not even mentioned having top bar hives. Shannon, I see you are in Roanoke, are there top bar hive keepers in your club? (Troutville is just up the road from Roanoke)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: What is NORMAL for October 1?

    Yes, I'm in the club. Botetourt club too! I've been to the last two meetings. I'm in Bonsack, I live about a mile from David.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,134

    Default Re: What is NORMAL for October 1?

    I noticed that we are in the topbar forum, but I see no reason that a good club membership would ostricize you for that reason. Give it a try and you will be surprised what an experienced eye can tell you in just a few minutes looking over your shoulder (or visa versa).
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads